“Dead-ends are frustrating when you’ve been driving for a long time.
They’re also frustrating when you’ve been dating for a long time.”
Focus on the Family’s Lisa Anderson addresses this in her book The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose.
People drag their heels for various reasons in relationships, but when two people are pursuing marriage it’s not a laughing matter. Lisa suggests bringing in other people to help diagnose the issue and exhort you both to make a move.
“This is where you have to bring a community, preferably some mentor folks, to help figure out what is holding this person back. Are they just concerned about their finances? Have they not grown up yet? Are they just really fearful based on maybe the environment they grew up in?”
Sometimes a gentle but firm shove is all they need.
“If, however, they are just digging in their heels because they just want to be having fun, or they just want to put it off, it might be time to break this off until that person decides ‘I’m going to move this forward.’ Because if you are dating for that long it is very difficult to protect purity. You are going to be giving up years of your life for something that really has no guarantee.”
You have to be honest and objective in that pursuit.
Understand too that if the dating relationship is one-sided or otherwise unhealthy, marriage won’t fix that.
If you’re not being pursued and prioritized in the dating relationship, you’re not going to be pursued and prioritized once you’re married.
Lisa points out that women tend to fall into this trap more than men.
“We’ve been sold a bill of goods. And basically that is if we just give up enough companionship, enough time, enough energy, enough sex, whatever it is, then eventually this guy is going to fall in love with us or he’s going to go the distance.”
Everything in the sociological sphere proves the exact opposite.
We need to decide to hold our convictions, understand our worth, and trust God’s timing rather than pursuing marriage out of desperation.
“Ultimately, we’re going to get our worth from the Lord and we need to because everyone else will fail us in the world. So understand who you are. Then you can enter healthily into a relationship with another person who’s doing the same.”
Key Scriptures: Psalm 27:13-14